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Grocer flips through the pages of THE ISLAND OF THE DEAD

Hola amigos, It's me, Harry here, on this, the day my father was born writing about the ISLAND OF THE DEAD. Well, Dad ain't quite pushing up the grass just yet, but he does love movies with islands filled with dead people. In fact, just yesterday he brought home the Lucio Fulci ZOMBIE on DVD and .... coooool.... The whole reason I put this film on the big ol list-o-films was hoping to hear about a zombie movie.... Well our friend Grocer, bagged this one up for us... so read on...

Call me "Grocer". I'm a buddy of Hallenbeck's. Had the pleasure of meeting you at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank last year - stopped by with Lawerence Talbot to have lunch with you guys. Anyways, you're a cool dude, a good soul, and your site is a beacon in the raging shitstorm we call Hollywood.

On to business. I read for one of the production companies in town and about a year and a half ago I read the script ISLAND OF THE DEAD by Peter Koper, which I just noticed is on your list of projects your site is tracking. I have no production info on this project, other than the Hollywood Reporter shows it is currently in pre-production and ready to start shooting soon - if it isn't already.

What I can share with you is what the script is about. Picture this... New York city has been burying its unclaimed dead for decades on a small island off Manhattan. This miserable task is performed by prisoners who are ferried, along with the corpses, to the island. Unfortunately for a particular group of unlucky prisoners, and a female detective who goes with them, they are stranded on this island, which is little more than a mass graveyard.

Now, is this a kick ass set-up and locale for a great, hardcore zombie flick, or what? I drooled with delight as I started reading this, shook with anticipation as I was sure it was only moments before the dead awoke and went a-feastin! It's George Romero time...

WRONG! As if the writer suddenly decided to write a different script, the story awkwardly shifts gears and becomes a killer fly movie. WHAT?! All this zombie/corpse set-up for nothing? My jaw hit the floor as the stupid-ass plot unfolded. Apparently, a swarm of flies has been possessed by the dead souls on the island and it chases the prisoners around, occasionally enveloping and digesting a victim. None of this is scary. None of this capitalizes on the set-up or the location. Why the fuck did they call it Island of the Dead? More like "Island of the not-to-scary Swarm of Flies." Basically, this is a flat, low-budget version of "The Swarm."

Hopefully this project went through some major rewrites. But if they shoot the script I read, believe me, none of us have anything to get excited about.

Just thought I'd let you know. Keep up the good work.


Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 27, 1999, 1:06 a.m. CST

    what the???

    by KrAcKhEaD

    All I can really say is "man, that really sucks!!". I heard some stuff about this film...not enough obviously...and was really excited about it. How cool would a zombie film in New York be. Zombies with fucking attitude. Hopefully Romero will come through with Resident Evil...I see it's our only hope right now. I guess it's back to my umpteenth viewing of Dead Alive....please...somebody out there...anybody....the fans are waiting....we need carnage, we need blood, decapitations and slimy crud. Plot and good characters will work too.

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 1:53 a.m. CST


    by Taliesin

    evil killer flies? yeah that sounds like the hollywood that just spat out virus. they can get jamie lee curtis to play the cop.

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Is this a joke?

    by cricket

    This sounds like an episode of the X-Files. At first the story was begining to unfold as a loose re-make of the Lucio Fulci zombie movie where these people get stuck on a desert island inhabitated by zombies; the film ending with New York being taken over. But this? This is horrible! Who green-lit it?

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 2:07 a.m. CST


    by The Consul

    I do not think that even a swarm of flies is capable of digesting human beings unless it is over a long long period of time. Am I wrong?. What a fucked up idea.

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Zombie flicks needed

    by Vikram_Vampire

    I think the film Cricket is talking about was the classic Zombie Flesh Eaters. This was a great example of a zombie film - fairly low-budget but great fun. When I started reading the script review for Island of the Dead I thought we'd finally be getting what we want. The last zombie flick I enjoyed was Braindead - great movie. Yeah - I guess I expected too much from Schmollywood. I hope Romero does ok for us with Resident Evil (i'm not totally convinced about this project..) I honestly believe the best zombie flicks are made by independant film companies - something that doesn't happen so much nowadays due to high budget CGI movies taking away the effect of a bit of latex and ketchup.

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 3:03 a.m. CST

    by Neil2

    Check out if you're a Romero fan :)

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 6:48 a.m. CST


    by Uncle Cracky

    Yeah, but these are POSSESSED flies. Flies possessed by the spirits of restless NEW YORKERS for Christ's sake. I didn't think Ash's possessed hand could leap off the floor with a ceremonial bone dagger in its grip and kill off whoever that girl was, but it sure did. And boy, was it tasty! But flies possessed by undead New Yorkers IS a pretty stupid idea, I must agree. Anyone besides mw think that Ron Perlman in a zombie film would kick ass?

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 6:49 a.m. CST


    by Uncle Cracky

    Of course I meant "me," not "mw."

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Say WHAT?

    by Serdar Yegulalp

    I'm as much a sucker for a good, gory zombie movie as the next person. But this... this sounds like a bad X-FILES episode (confirming what someone else here posted). I can't believe they're even bothering with something this sleepy and inherently uninteresting. Christ, I bet even the zombie lovers in the audience would pick Errol Morris's new movie about Holocaust denier Fred Leuchter over this trash barrel. (And you know what? They'd enjoy it more.)

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 9:28 a.m. CST

    KILLER FLY'S??????????

    by mckracken

    Oh GEESH this news sucks, All this time waiting for George Romero to start "Twilite of the Dead" and NOW THIS?? Sounds like a direct to video Roger Corman "B" horror flick or something the Sci/Fi channel would produce--GAAAAK!! (by the way, does anyone have the upcoming dirt on anything that the sci/fi channel **IS** producing?) Good Grief this sucks hardcore.... WE NEED KILLER MORE KILLER ZOMBIE FLICKS!!!!

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 9:46 a.m. CST

    what the fuck?

    by reni

    the set up sounds great but the what the fuck is the point if all it's gonna be about is demonicall y possessed flies???

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 1:48 p.m. CST

    I can't wait to see this.....


    It sounds fucking hilarious. Finally a movie to give FOOD OF THE GODS and EMPIRE OF THE ANTS a run for their money. Does anyone know if genius of the giganticised Bert I. Gordon is directing, cause he'd be a natural for this crazy concoction and it would give him a chance to diversify from giant insects to ones that are possesed. Whoever wrote this crazy piece of shit is a psychedelic warlock. "Oh, Mr. Bensigton, the things you say and the things you do". Long live Bert.

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Island of the dead in New York? I though decaying flesh smelt m

    by spike lee

    If this is set in New York, why not let Woody Allen direct it. A zombie romantic comedy would be drop dead funny. One zombie could be neurotic and have black rim glasses. "I..I dont know..I was enjoying a pastry, and my ear fell off...Soon Ye

  • Jan. 27, 1999, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Island of the dead in New York? I though decaying flesh smelt m

    by spike lee

    If this is set in New York, why not let Woody Allen direct it. A zombie romantic comedy would be drop dead funny. One zombie could be neurotic and have black rim glasses. Soon ye!

  • Jan. 28, 1999, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Killer Louies

    by Chyren

    Well, I don't know about you, but this has the makings of one of the scariest movies since 'Not Without My Underpants'. Killer swarms of possessed flies? Why, that sends shivers up my spine just thinking about it. I tell you, just one of those little bleeders getting through the mesh and buzzing around is enough to give me the willies. Look out! And you know they eat by puking on things and tasting it with their feet, don't you? Sure, that's gotta smart, specially when they lay those maggots in you. And you know they'll communicate by unearthly buzzzzzzzing voicessssssss! How else will you know they're possessed? Boy oh boy, these guys are onto a sure-fire box-office socko-boffo blockbusterooni if my name isn't Joseph Z. Turdage. Thousands of New-Yawker-possessed blowies? Simply tremenjous, Harry-as-a-boy. I'm surprised that some other go-getting filmaker hasn't gobbled up the idea before now! I give it six thumbs up.